By Bambang Muryanto
Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and several figures of Yogyakarta for Pluralism (YUK) community read a Yogyakarta Manifesto for Pluralism (Kebhinekaan) at Gedung Agung building in Yogyakarta on Sunday.
As residents of Yogyakarta, they invited all Indonesian people to turn down any form of intimidation and violent actions because they are not in line with Indonesian principles that appreciate pluralism.
The manifesto was read by Habibah Jazila from the Yogyakarta Women Network, repeated by the Sultan, rector of Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Pratikno, Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti, Alisa Wahid (the daughter of former president Abdurrahman Wahid) and people attending the action, entitled “From Yogyakarta to Pluralistic Indonesia”.
“We, residents of Yogyakarta, turn down any intimidation and violent actions because intimidation and violent acts in the name of religious differences, ethnicity, groups, gender and ideology are not in line with the pluralistic principle,” they said.
They later urged all Indonesian people to mutually respect pluralism and not to allow violent acts and intimidation that violate the civil rights of residents.
With regard to a recent series of violent acts in the name of individuals and groups, the Sultan and other figures supported the state apparatuses to take action in line with the existing laws.
The action was attended by hundreds of Yogyakarta people. They wore red clothes and distributed banners, which said, among other things, “My Religion is not better than yours”, “Live Harmoniously in Tolerance” and “Lady Gaga, Didi Kempot, under the Bhineka they should have not be recalcitrant.”
After the manifesto reading, the Sultan and other figures hit the Javanese traditional kentongan (wood drums) reminding the public about something dangerous. Others blew whistles.
In his comments, the Sultan said that the manifesto is a form of aspiration. “In its history, Yogyakarta has never had any violent traditions,” he said.
UGM Rektor Pratikno urged the public to maintain the principle of pluralism in Indonesia.
Ika Yuni from YUK said that the action was held as a form of concern over various violent actions in the name of religion taking place in Yogyakarta and other parts of Indonesia.
“This action constitutes a form of concern by Yogyakarta people who intend to reassure that Yogyakarta is a place which is capable of managing pluralism without any violent acts,” she said.
Ika Yuni cited as an example that the ideal situation of Yogyakarta, which is able to maintain a harmonious life style has been tarnished by forceful disperse of a discussion by speaker Irshad Manji last month.
Ika also explained that based on a study conducted by the Wahid Institute in Indonesia in 2011, there were 92 cases of violations of freedom of religion, forceful closure of houses of worship and religious criminalization.
“The number of cases of intolerance increased to 184 in 2011 from only 134 in 2010, or a rise of about 16 percent,” Ika said.
Taken from The Jakarta Post.